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Analysis and Results in a Flash

Posted by laurenc1 in Flashman on Nov 19, 2013 7:49:09 AM

It's been 9 months to the day since the launch of the NetApp All Flash Array, the EF540. And what a 9 months it has been.

I've seen the installed NetApp Flash  totals go from 36PB at the end of February 2013 to 62PB today across Cached

and All Flash solutions today. The attach is also very interesting with over 25,000 systems benefiting from Flash technology

with 80% Flash attach in high end enterprise solutions. Great adoption rates I think you will agree. In EMEA we have seen

EF540 installed in  a wide range of verticals from Finance, Education, Telco/Media, High Energy Physics and HPC.


HighOctane_Racecar3_HighRes.jpgWhat are NetApp doing that's different ? Well no wild claims around

IOPS numbers, but rather real world numbers driven by a real business

application workloads. Proof of Concept is a good thing. Plus advice

based on years of deploying Flash technologies !

One size/type of technology does not fit all. And so it is with Flash.

For may customers, introducing a Flash caching tier protects their existing

investment,  provides a usable performance improvement with no management

overhead. For others with specific workloads which are highly sensitive to any

delay, or fluctuation in response time then All Flash Arrays are very popular. Indeed

many of our existing customers are using EF Series to accelerate Database

workloads such as those based on Oracle. Others are deploying the EF Series

to address the inefficiencies of over provisioning and to offload the  I/O from intensive workloads.


Today speed is everything and I am amazed at my own lack of patience when waiting for websites to respond, or transactions to complete.

My two teenage boys are worse than me. Its an age thing I guess, but says a lot about our modern day expectations. If it takes to long, I'm gone !

And so this is one of the main reasons to invest in All Flash Arrays. To reduce delay to sub millisecond values, and introduce a consistent

customer experience. And hopefully retain impatient potential customers like me. Here is a link to an excellent IDC whitepaper

which investigates delivering the customer value proposition with Enterprise Flash.


As I said earlier it has been 9 Months since the EF540 launch and so it's appropriate that today NetApp launch the next generation

EF Series All Flash Array -the EF550. Alongside the EF550 NetApp have also announced updates and new products in the E-Series range.

The E-Series is designed for superior price / performance.  There are upwards 650,000 E-Series systems have been sold worldwide and the

excellent management software, SANTricity is in its eleventh generation, so it wasn't born yesterday and is mature and proven

for managing and reporting on Flash and Hybrid Storage environments. If you are looking for further insight on Flash then I can recommend  @JohnRollason

latest Blog as he investigates the confusion surrounding the flash storage array market: #NetAppFlash


The new EF550 extends the performance envelope to over 400,000 real world IOPS, while the maximum capacity expands to 96TB.

SANTricity 11.10 also brings a set of new premium features. Dynamic Disk Pools (DDP) is a next-generation architecture that

minimizes the impact of a drive failure, returning the system to optimal condition up to eight times faster than traditional RAID.

You can find all the latest information on the new EF550 here:


New in this release Thin Provisioning drives storage efficiency by separating internal and external allocation of storage.

Other existing features, rare within the All Flash Array category, include Asynchronous and Synchronous Remote Replication

which delivers  Enterprise protection for business critical workloads. Here is the link to the SANTricity OS software info:


New to the E-Series is the E2700. This solution is perfect for SME or Branch Applications, For the

latest information follow this link:



Finally the updated E-Series  E5500 also launches today. E5500 delivers the ultimate

in modularity and flexibility while proven to meet the demands of high IOPS mixed

workloads, for example databases and high performance file systems and well as intense

streaming applications such as those found in media and video streaming applications.

As well as a wide range of connectivity options including  InfiniBand,FC, iSCSI and SAS.

The EF5500 can easily be configured for hybrid array operation while the SSDCache

feature in SANTricity manages and automates caching. For more information on the

EF5500 follow this link



Enough from me. If you are looking for storage solutions that drives greater speed and

responsiveness for a range of application driven workloads then the new NetApp E and EF Series are quite simply proven in the

field for high and extreme performance workload requirements.


Follow me on Twitter: @lozdjames